Country Mansion in Tampa Bay Magazine
This majestic estate unveils itself slowly. After proceeding through a small stone gate house, down a curving lane paved with reclaimed brick and lined with mature oak trees, a village-like vision of the home appears. After passing the stable with its steep wood-shake roof and following the meandering lane, the front door and overhead balcony are your first glimpse of this awe-inspiring mansion that was built by new home builders Tampa, Alvarez Homes. Once you are clear of the trees, you will see the large kitchen garden and pigeonaire, that is complete with pigeon holes for birds to nest in, on your way to the motor court. From this vantage point, the first view of the lake in unveiled.
Tampa home builders, Alvarez Homes built this masterpiece over a four-year period, during which time the design was continually refined, according to Don Cooper of Cooper Johnson Smith Architects, who said that the property is composed of several structures of various materials that have been placed around courtyards and gardens to give the impression that the estate was built over an extended period of time. The arrangement also works to minimize the massive size of the residence.
Different building materials were used for each structure. The main house was built with rustic stone and a Vermont slate roof, while the flanking buildings are made of half timber and then brick-topped under a rustic wood shake roof. In keeping with this concept, the loggia off the family hearth room is wrapped in heavy timber and has a trellis to achieve a more casual garden look.
The home’s main level includes a kitchen, living areas, hearth room and a men’s lounge. The family’s bedrooms are located on the third level. The fourth level has a craft room and two guest bedrooms. The basement houses a club room with billiards, a bar, a bowling alley, an indoor pool, a spa with areas for a steam room, sauna, both wet and dry massages and a fitness room.
Also on the grounds are a guest house and a pool pavilion. The garages, which are attached to the house, will accommodate at least 16 cars with no crowding.
The hardwood flooring throughout the main house is hand-scraped, pillow-edged, acid-etched custom stained French oak. It is installed in a herringbone pattern in the men’s lounge, in a Versailles pattern in the dining room and parlor, and in a running pattern in other areas, while the flooring of the main living areas is Belgian limestone.
High-tech elements, such as a full-home automation system that controls most of the lights, thermostats, motorized shades and audio-video equipment can be controlled from wall-mounted and remote touch panels all over the house.
Throughout the home, there are special touches, such as the limestone trim around the windows and doors and the solid limestone columns supporting the rear loggias that have been imported from the Middle East, since imported limestone provides more color variation than any domestic limestone could. Likewise, the bricks used are “Hand Molded” Old Carolina Brick.
In building this unique masterpiece, the talented custom home builders at Alvarez Homes have created a timeless estate that is sure to exceed the needs and desires of the owners.